Married At First Sight Australia contestant Jaimie Gardner has lifted the lid on her reality TV experience, telling how she felt scared of her partner, unsupported by producers, and had been left with mental health problems.
Gardner was a late entrant to season eight of the Australian dating show where she was matched with Chris Jenson a month after the original couples had married, but on Wednesday evening viewers saw the pair leave the experiment on the day they were supposed to move in together after a bitter row.
Although the programme appeared to show Gardner mocking Jenson's appearance and personality, she has since given a tell-all interview to podcast So Dramatic! with Megan Pustetto where she revealed how intimidated she'd felt and the trolling she had suffered since the show.
Gardner said of Jenson: "I've never been more fearful in the presence of a supposed partner in my life."
The TV contestant said that she'd suffered Bells Palsy from the stress of being targeted by trolls on social media after the series aired in Australia, and mentioned her "growing psychologist's bill".
She told how their honeymoon, which had included a number of tense scenes, was filmed with an all-male crew that made her feel "like the side wheel to a boys' club" and described an unsettling off-camera argument that had left her shaking after she says Jenson swore at her over a minor disagreement.
Gardner also complained about the lack of support from producers, saying: "I absolutely broke down to a producer and just said this happened this morning and I am terrified. I was bawling my eyes out…I didn’t sign up for an experiment to be put with someone who is aggressive. I went to find love."
She said that the producer told her they had to get a discussion about it on camera and then felt that Jenson had been told to call her out on picking on him.
On the day that the couple were supposed to move into the apartment block alongside the other contestants, they were shown rowing with Jenson appearing to blame Gardner for being "fake", but she told how she felt let down by producers after an explosive argument earlier that day that left her pleading for help.
She said: "I messaged producers, I just said I’m fearful, I don’t feel safe, and when we go to the next hotel, I want a separate room. They didn’t reply for an hour and a half, [leaving] enough time to capture the next scene in the next hotel."
Gardner claimed that she was told they had to have the argument out on camera so that there was an exit storyline for the show, which is the scene that viewers saw.
Listen to Jaimie Gardner's So Dramatic! interview here.
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